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Garbage & Recycling

The City of Modesto pioneered curbside recycling in 1972! The "Two Can" recycling program allows the entire community to participate in recycling and has helped Modesto meet state requirements by cutting the city’s waste stream in half. With your help, Modesto will continue to move forward towards new and bigger recycling goals!

Click here to find out how recycling can help the City of Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department's "Adopt A Park" program!

Download the complete Recycling Guide and learn about all of Modesto's garbage and recycling programs in one stop!

History of Recycling in Modesto (PDF) View
Recycling Guide (PDF) View
Disposal Option Chart (PDF) View
Solid Waste Collection Process (PDF) View

Have a question about garbage and recycling that you don’t see the answer to here…email us at


Black Can/Garbage & Trash

The City of Modesto uses a "Two Can" garbage program.  The black can is for household garbage and non-organic materials such as plastic packaging, diapers, animal waste, etc.  The material is sent to a Waste-to-Energy facility and is burned to make electricity.  For more information, click here.

Bulky Item Collection

Residential garbage service customers may have two bulky item pick-ups per calendar year. Residents must contact their garbage company to set up a collection appointment. Items should be placed out the evening before the scheduled collection day. For more information, click here.

Business Recycling

The City of Modesto provides several recycling services and programs for businesses in the community. For more information about the recycling opportunities available for your business, click here.

Buy-Back Centers/CRV

Residents can recycle products by taking them to any Buy-Back Center in the area. For more information, click here.

Compost Classes

Learn how to turn your own kitchen scraps and other organic waste into a rich soil amendment. The City of Modesto partners with MJC Community Education to offer Backyard Composting Classes to local residents. The classes are free for all Modesto residents. The fee for non-residents is $35. For more information, click here.


The composting program includes collecting and processing residential yard waste and organic material from the green cans and pruned refuse from the street collection program. The material is combined together to make Modesto's own Mo-Gro-Pro, a clean green compost. The compost is sold back to the community in 1 cu. ft. bags or bulk quantities. For more information on this program, click here.

Events and Award Opportunities

There are many events and award opportunities available throughout the year. For more information about the Business Recycling Awards, City Council Open House at the Farmer's Market, Second Chance Week, Pollution Prevention Week, America Recycles Day and Earth Day in the Park, click here.

Food and Organics Composting

The City of Modesto offers its residential garbage service customers a convenient way to dispose of food and organic waste via the Yard Waste Program. Each household can separate their food and organic waste from their other household garbage and place it in their green waste container for composting. For more information, click here.

Green Can/Organic Waste Recycling

The green can/organic waste recycling program includes the collection of most residential organic materials, including yard waste, food waste, paper and cardboard products.   This program has the potential to capture 70% of all residential waste with no additional cans or trucks needed!  Please do your part to help the city of Modesto reach this goal.   In 2009, residents recycled approximately 43,000 tons of organic waste, or 43% of the total tons of  residential waste generated.  The material is made into compost and made available to the community.  For more information, click here.

Habitat for Humanity's - Restore

REUSE is the best form of recycling! To see how you can give your construction items a second chance via the Habitat for Humanity's ReStore, click here.

Household Hazardous Waste

Modesto residents can dispose of many different household hazardous waste and e-waste products at the City-County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Disposal is free for all Stanislaus County residents. For more information, click here.

School Recycling Programs

Staff works closely with school districts, teachers and students to educate youth about environmental issues and recycling services available to the community as well as the schools. For more information about the school programs and services available, click here.

Used Oil Recycling

There are three ways to recycle your used oil. The Residential Collection Program will pick up used oil from your home, Certified Collection Centers located throughout the city will pay you for every gallon you recycle and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility accepts used oil and many other household hazardous products. For more information, click here.

Waste Tire Recycling

City of Modesto residents can dispose of their waste tires for free at any of the scheduled Waste Tire Recycling Events. The tires are recycled locally and made into many useful products. For more information, click here.

Waste to Energy Facility

The Stanislaus Resource Recovery Facility is a key component of the City of Modesto's and County of Stanislaus' environmentally-sound solid waste management system. The facility disposes of at least 243,300 tons of solid waste each year and generates up to 22.5 megawatts of electricity. For more information, click here.

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